May in Manitoba
It's May in Manitoba and this year will be much different than any year before it.
The Weather has been much warmer than usual. Spring came in early March and the temperatures reached highs typical of early June. The negative impact of such a warm spring, was the lack of moisture. We had little rain or snow for several weeks after the snow was melted. The grass and trees hadn't had a chance to "green up" yet.
With the lack of rain and the lack of green vegetation, the risk of fire had become a serious concern.
Now that I've established unique spring we've had, I'll tell you why this year is to be different.
My Name is Justin. I grew up in a small town in the Northern Interlake. This is an area between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba. There are miles of gravel roads connecting vast areas of farmland on one side of "the" highway. And on the other side are hundreds of acres of crown land.
There is a very active snow mobile community in this area, so there are well established trail system running between several communities. Many of these trails have "warm up" shacks situated along the way.
While growing up I had a motorcycle, snow machine and 4X4 Toyota, and traveled this beautiful landscape in every season.
After graduation, I moved a couple hundred kilometers South to Winnipeg to get a job. At the beginning of my "new" life it became difficult to afford the toys that I had taken for granted as a youth. Slowly I let my toys fall by the wayside.
As the years went by, I found myself longing to ride again. The feeling of cruising through the bush with the wing blowing in your ears. The splash and smell of rotten swamp.
Well Like I said, this year is going to be different. I finally changed my situation. I purchased a 2010 Kawasaki Teryx.
I brought it home just as the spring thaw started. The dugouts and ditches were still frozen, there was the odd snowbank left, but there was water and mud also.
My Teryx was amazing on the first day out. I couldn't believe the versatility in every terrain I could find. There was hill climbing, doughnuts on the ice, playing in the mud and steep decents down gravel piles.
The weeks that followed brought me back to my home town and back to heaven.
We've been on several group rides and the quad guys are all pretty impressed with the performance of this "Side by Side". They've only ever seen a Ranger and say they couldn't keep up. But I have no issues with this. They are faster on the road, but I have no problem on the trail.
It has just finished raining for two weeks. We've had in excess of 4" of rain and a little bit of snow. The trees and the grass is green and the fire risk is considerably lower than it was a couple weeks ago.
I'm taking a vacation at the end of the month and I am looking forward to heading out into the unknown. There will be a tent, a cooler, a beautiful wife and the biggest smile you've seen since Canada beat the US in Olympic Hockey.
So, there it is.